Friday, 1 November 2013

Bread Dumplings

To use up leftover baguette or any other bread.
I have used it to go with a casserole, with roast chicken, and in a broth.

For the dumplings
  • 200g/7oz stale baguette or other bread (crust included)
  • handful chopped parsley
  • 250ml/9oz milk
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • 5-6 leaves of Sage (optional, instead of parsley)

    salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 free-range egg
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • butter, for frying

    1. Cut the baguette into small cubes and place in a bowl. Add the parsley or Sage. Bring the milk to a boil and pour over. Stir so that the milk is absorbed evenly, then cover and leave for 15 minutes.
    2. Season with nutmeg, salt and pepper, stir in the egg, and mix in one tablespoon flour. If the mix is too wet (it should be moist and only slightly sticky), add a second spoon of flour. Wet your hands a little to help stop the dough sticking to them, then make 12-14 dumplings (smaller than a golf ball).

      3-, heat a knob of butter in a large frying pan and fry the dumplings on a medium heat for five minutes or until golden-brown and crisp, then drain.

      4- Or cook them in the oven next to a roast
      5- Or shape into smaller balls and serve with broth

Sunday, 15 September 2013

Tomato and chili Oil

A hot spicy dip to accompany roast meat or to simply serve with crusty bread, as an informal starter.


4 tbs good olive oil
300 ml crushed tomato or passata
3 cloves of garlic
Chili flakes, to taste
1 dessertspoon of sugar
1 tsp balsamic vinegar

Peel and slice the garlic, gently heat the oil in a sauce pan and warm the garlic for 1 minute.
Add the rest of ingredients, cook over a gentle heat for 20-25 min. check the seasoning.

Remove the sauce from the heat.
Serve hot or warm, with bread.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

Tartiflette savoyarde


The name derives from the name tartiflette of potato Savoyard tartifles, a term also found in Provençal tartifles. The Savoyards first heard of the tartiflette when it arrived on the menus of restaurants in the ski stations, conveying an image of friendliness, authenticity, and soil of the mountain.
It is hard to find Reblochon outside France, so I often use Raclette cheese instead.

time 50 minutes plus potato cooking time.
yield  8 people, as a side dish 

category potatoes
cuisine France

  • 1,2 kg de potatoes, 
  • 200 gr de bacon lardons
  • 1 onion (optional)
  • 1 reblochon cheese
  • 1 tub  crème fraiche
  • 1 glass white wine (vin blanc de Savoie)

1. Boil the potatoes whole, until cooked through. Drain and cut into thick slices. About 0.5cm.
2. Fry the onion, sliced, in a little butter, until pale and starting to brown
3. Add the lardons to the onion, fry for a minute or so, turn off heat
4. arrange the potatoes in a well buttered ovenproof dish, spoon over the onion and bacon mix. Stir the wine into the creme fraiche, pout over the potatoes. Season well with salt and pepper.
5. Slice the reblochon over the potatoes, (Alternatively, use raclette cheese) 
6. bake in a hot oven 180 degrees C for 25-30 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

Steamed Ginger Pudding

Pudding ingredients

  • 200gr all purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 150gr sugar
  • 200gr unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup orange marmalade
  • 1/4 cup mild-flavored (light) molasses
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange peel

For pudding:
Coat inside and center tube of 6- to 8-cup pudding mold  generously with butter. Sift flour and next 6 ingredients into medium bowl. Using electric mixer, beat sugar and butter in large bowl until well blended. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, then marmalade, molasses and orange peel. Add flour mixture and beat just until blended. Transfer batter to prepared mold. Cover mold tightly with foil.
Place steamer rack in large pot. Place pudding mold on rack. Fill pot with enough water to come halfway up sides of mold. Bring water to boil. Reduce heat to medium. Cover pot and steam pudding until tester inserted near center comes out clean, adding more boiling water as needed to maintain level, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Using oven mitts as aid, remove mold from pot. Uncover and let stand 10 minutes. Cut around top center and sides of pudding to loosen. Turn pudding out onto rack and cool 20 minutes. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool completely. Return to mold; cover and chill. Resteam 45 minutes to heat through, then turn out of mold.)

Transfer pudding to platter. Cut pudding into wedges; serve with Vanilla ice cream or cream.

Thursday, 18 October 2012

Spanish Tortilla

This recipe is for Steph, a fan of my tortilla.
It is very often that I see with great dismay how some TV cooks prepare a Spanish tortilla. When it is made properly it should be juicy and succulent, equally good cold or warm, and it cannot be made in a hurry.
Here is the true Spanish tortilla, where you only need eggs, potatoes and salt.

  • 5 large potatoes with white, waxy flesh
  • 5 eggs
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil
Peel and dice the potatoes finely. Fry them in 3tbsp olive oil, gently over a low heat and covered with a lid. Stir from time to time, cook over low heat for 10-15 minutes or until well cooked, they must not turn brown. Season them well.
Meanwhile crack the eggs into a large bowl, stir them with a fork and season with salt and pepper.
When the potatoes are cooked, lift them out of the oil with a slotted spoon and put them in the egg while they are still hot. This is important to the dish as the potatoes will start to cook the egg and will absorb the flavour. Leave the potatoes to stand in the egg for a few minutes or until they cool slightly.
Heat 2 tbs olive oil in a 20cm non-stick pan, pour the potato and egg mix. Stir with a fork for a minute or so, then turn the heat down, cover with a lid and let the tortilla cook for 6-10 minutes.
Now it is time to turn the tortilla over with the help of a plate. Cook the tortilla for 5 more minutes on the other side. Turn the heat off and let it stand for a few minutes before turning onto a plate.
If you don't dare turn the tortilla, grill the top in the oven for 5-6 minutes.

Serve it warm or cold with green salad.

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Tuna Tartar

Ingredients for a Starter for 2
This dish is quite indulgent as it uses fresh red tuna from the market. However, it is worth it!. It is very easy to make and the result is impressive.

  • 1 fresh red tuna steak, about 250gr
  • chopped coriander leaves about 1tbs
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1 tbs extra virgin olive oil
  • lemon juice, 
  • 1/2 clove of garlic, minced to a pulp
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 tsp wasabi, optional

Chop the tuna into small bits. Do this with a heavy chopping knife, until it resembles mince meat.

With a metal spoon, carefully mix in 1 dessertspoon lemon juice, a good pinch of salt, the chopped coriander,  grated ginger garlic, and pepper to taste. Stir 1 tbs of good olive oil into the tuna. Try a little and correct the seasoning to taste.
Stir a little wasabi sauce if you like it.
Serve with Melba toast, as a starter.

Note. If you don't have coriander use the same amount of chopped parsley instead.

Monday, 2 January 2012

Majorcan 'Porcella'


  • 1 pork joint, with the skin
  • Salt, pepper, 
  • 3 bay leaves,
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 glass of sherry or white wine

Heat the oven to 18 degrees celsius.
Pat the skin dry with a kitchen towel. The skin must be super dry to make a crackling.
Score the skin with a sharp knife, to make strips of crackling.

Rub some salt and pepper on the skin, and season the meat with more salt, pepper.
Sit the joint in a roasting tin, over the bay leaves, garlic, lemon juice and sherry, being careful not to make the skin wet.

Place the joint in the oven and cook for 40 minutes per kilo.
At the end of the cooking time, bring the oven temperature up to 200 degrees and cook for a further 20 minutes, to make the crackling.